USGS Washington Water Science Center
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Ground water from the Eastbank Aquifer system in north-central Washington is a regional water supply for about 50,000 people, as well as for a fish hatchery operated by the Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD). The fish hatchery compensates for salmon and steelhead lost in the operation of two hydroelectric projects on the Columbia River owned by the PUD. The fish hatchery needs relatively cool ground water to operate, but ground-water temperatures have increased in recent years. Because the Eastbank Aquifer system is recharged primarily by Columbia River water, which has seasonally and annually varying temperatures, resource managers need a better understanding of the interaction between the Columbia River and the Eastbank Aquifer system and the thermal conditions of the aquifer system.
To help the PUD manage ground water resources to avoid or minimize increases in ground water temperatures, the USGS is helping to assess available data of the Eastbank aquifer system and develop an updated data-collection program.